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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old November 14 2013, 05:25 PM   #1
jibrilmudo
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Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

I think she was a stepping stone to Kira.

Everytime we see Dukat make a decision regarding Ziyal for the positive, it's because Kira is involved.

Spare her life when we first meet her, Kira's influence. Get talked into leaving her in the care of Kira when he captured that Klingon warship and get ready for life as a lone renegade, Kira's influence. Ziyal is crushing on Garak, Dukat uses that to berate Kira. Basically, it seems like he only uses his daughter to get closer to Kira.

Now, he seems to have real emotions for Ziyal, but after rescuing her from the planet after deciding not to kill her, he does blatantly abandon her or disown her several times.

I used to think he really loved his daughter, but the scene that did it in for me was during the dominion occupation of DS9, when he had Damar deliver a dress to Kira for some evening with Dukat. Kira brings back the package with the dress, being plain she doesn't want it, and leaves, Ziyal comes in soon after and admires the dress, and Dukat gives it to her and makes it like he bought it for her all along. Just the sheer disinguity he is capable of.

The only thing I can think of that refutes it is his temporary insanity after her death, but I think it can be explained as it occuring right when the offensive collapsed and the Federation retaking DS9, knowing he would be blamed/scapegoated for the overall failure - he used the opportunity to get captured by the humane federation rather than chance being around his socalled allies. Afterall, that same blame got Weyoun 5 killed a little later on.

Dukat had such an obsession with Bajoran women in general and playing their savior in particular. While Damar is shown several times using his leader position to bed cardassian women, Dukat was never shown with such a scene - he always was having Bajoran concubines, and Kira was his ultimate prize.

Dukat is twisted enough, that had Ziyal lived, I wouldn't be surprised that he got off on his daughter's hero worship of him to fulfill that savior fantasy and eventually would have bedded her himself, as some type of weird compromise between a political correct Cardassian he needs and Bajoran lover he wants. Might have explained his rage towards her affection to Garak beyond a mere unexplained family dispute.
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Old November 14 2013, 05:52 PM   #2
dub
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

I don't know how much love he is truly capable of feeling. I do think there was some part of him that loved her, which is part of what made him go mad after her death. But having said that, I also think if the right situation came along and he was forced to kill her or let her die, he would do it if he could gain some sort of larger advantage in his mind. He is a crazy dude, after all. I think the big picture for Dukat is he needs to be in control, and he needs be admired. He is his own true love. This is going to sound harsh, but I think the bottom line is he wasn't in control of Ziyal's death. He didn't make that decision. And that's what pisses him off more than anything. But strangely, I still think he has some love for her somewhere in his grinch-like heart.
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Old November 14 2013, 06:04 PM   #3
iguana_tonante
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

Dukat loved Ziyal in the same way he loved the Bajorans. He wanted to be adored, and he was willing to do anything to make them love him.
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Old November 15 2013, 12:53 AM   #4
Pondwater
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

Yes and no. Yes in the same way that Cardassians care and love for their children. No, because it seemed conditional. He is narccissistic sociopath, incapable of loving anyone or anything but himself.
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Old November 15 2013, 05:26 AM   #5
Anwar
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

What I want to know is why, even after he became the ruler of Cardassia, Dukat never bothered getting any of his other children back. It was like he forgot all about them and only kept Ziyal around.
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Old November 15 2013, 05:41 AM   #6
R. Star
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

They left him when he was down. Why would he bother getting them back when he was on top?
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Old November 15 2013, 06:22 AM   #7
Melakon
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

As Pondwater said, Dukat didn't love anybody but himself, Protector of the Bajoran Scum who Refused to Love Him.
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Old November 15 2013, 05:23 PM   #8
Anwar
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

R. Star wrote: View Post
They left him when he was down. Why would he bother getting them back when he was on top?
The kids didn't have a say in the matter though, that was all his Wife's doing. The kids, IIRC, weren't adults, so they wouldn't have been able to overrule her anyways.

They could've at least mentioned his family ONCE afterwards, like how we found out Damar's family was killed by the Dominion.
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Old November 15 2013, 05:58 PM   #9
dub
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

Dukat had bigger fish to fry. Like the entire universe.
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Old November 15 2013, 06:12 PM   #10
Anwar
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

It might've made his descent into madness work a bit better if his children had been killed by the Klingons or something, so all he had left really was Ziyal. Then him losing his mind when she died would've had some build up.
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Old November 15 2013, 06:20 PM   #11
nureintier
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

I think Dukat mainly loves himself, yeah.

In that episode where he decides not to kill Ziyal, my impression was he didn't give a darn about saving her (or he wouldn't be prepared to kill her); he was mainly interested in winning Kira over, impressing her by attempting to be a father to Ziyal. If he had any fatherly feelings at that point, he wouldn't have been prepared to shoot her. But since Kira was there, he decided that acting like a good father and decent person might help him get in her pants at some point (fortunately for her, Kira isn't that dumb though).

I do think he loved her later on, but probably more because she was his only fan; she was the only one who thought highly of him and stuck by him no matter what. Since being worshiped as a hero is what he desires from people and doesn't otherwise get, it makes sense that he does become more attached to Ziyal. But despite that, i still feel like he was using her to impress other people.
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Old November 16 2013, 08:19 AM   #12
JaxsBrokenHeart
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

Its a tricky question with Dukat because I'm not sure he was ever capable of any kind unselfish, unconditional affection except towards himself. Even Garak, as amoral as he could be, genuinely loved Cardassia and held its best interests above everything else including himself.

Ziyal served many purposes to to him, both as a mirror that reflected what Dukat wanted to think of himself (a compassionate, caring father doting on the perfect embodiment of his paternalism towards Bajor/Cardassia) and as a link to the likes of Kira that he could exploit when necessary.

That she forgave him for his role in the events of By Inferno's Light likely did deepen is affection for her, if just because she did what he felt Sisko and the Bajorans really should have always done; look past whatever issues they have and see him for the great man that he is.

Along those same lines I think her death (and that she died still unconditionally loving him and not completely against him) allowed him to personally justify his actions after Waltz with him believing that his "compassion" and "open hands of friendships" towards Kira, Sisko and others cost him his empire and his daughter. Hell Ziyal's role as the innocent flower destroyed by his enemies is so internalized in Dukat at that point that he didn't even need a Ziyal hallucination to remind himself of it.

I think her symbolic role to him as more of a reflection of Dukat's self image than an actual person was confirmed when he not only did nothing against Damar for killing her, he blamed Sisko for it. Such was Ziyal's legacy that even her death was to be used as a means to fuel his own delusions.
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Old November 16 2013, 09:45 AM   #13
teacake
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

He loved her as his possession and his accomplishment. Operating word being "his".
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Old November 16 2013, 04:57 PM   #14
borgboy
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

I think he did love her, as much as he was capable of. It was love, but it was a mean, selfish love. I agree that Dukat's breakdown after Ziyal's death would have worked better if he'd already had all his other children die too.
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Old November 16 2013, 07:11 PM   #15
R. Star
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Re: Did Dukat really love Ziyal?

borgboy wrote: View Post
I think he did love her, as much as he was capable of. It was love, but it was a mean, selfish love. I agree that Dukat's breakdown after Ziyal's death would have worked better if he'd already had all his other children die too.
I always figured they were dead to him. His wife and kids left him when he was down. The one person who stuck with him and believed in him then was Ziyal. Even then he was willing to accept her as collateral damage to further his goals.

When he was back on top, why would he want to reconcile with a group of people who didn't believe in him? I'd see his vanity shining through that he got back on top without them and didn't need them. He'd probably consider himself merciful for not having them rounded up and put in a labor camp.
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